Tuesday, June 14, 2016


For novelty's sake, here's a very old Argosy from before the red-band era. In 1919 Argosy delivered 176 pages a week, filled in this case with names mostly unknown to me. My own Argosy collection begins about a generation later, and I only recognize two of this issue's contributors as writers who continued to appear in the venerable weekly in the early-mid 1930s: cover author Charles Alden Seltzer and William Merriam Rouse, who might be described as a Northeastern specialist. One other author worth noting is George P. Putnam, the scion of a publishing family who is best known to history as Mr. Amelia Earhart. Further testimony to the greater presence of women writers in this era of pulp are the contributions of Katharine Eggleston and Ethel Dorrance, the latter co-authoring a serial with her husband. I'm tempted to think of all of this as pre-modern pulp, from before the hard-boiled style caught on, but those who've read Argosy from this period are best qualified to judge how modern or quaint the writing is.


  1. Actually the writing is not that dated in the teens though I do find the dime novels and turn of the century fiction to be almost unreadable. I have a run of ARGOSY in the teens and twenties and though some of the fiction is dated, much of it is still readable. For instance I have a set of ALL STORY(1905-1920) and though the early years are hard going I've found much of the fiction to be ok especially starting around 1912 when Burroughs had such an influence on early magazine SF.

    Much of the SF can be read in back issues of FAMOUS FANTASTIC MYSTERIES and FANTASTIC NOVELS which reprinted much of the fiction from the Munsey pulps especially ALL STORY. These two pulp titles are still easy to find and fairly inexpensive.

  2. Just came across your blog recently and have been going through the older posts and downloading what I can. Thanks very much for providing these old stories and magazines.